Tag Archives: pet health
Some people ask me about Sofie’s nose. She has what is called Snow Nose. I started to notice her nose change from black to pink in January 2013, when she was 2. I was worried at first that she was doing something to herself, like scraping off the skin (ouch!), or was she sick? Did she have a vitamin deficiency? Was there something wrong? I knew that many animals do lose pigment in their noses, but she was only 2 at the time. So I did what any internet, research-loving, pet-parent would do, I ‘googled’ the heck out of the question and found a lot of interesting facts.
1. Some dogs lose pigment in their noses in the winter. (Which is what I think might be going on here.) This is called ‘snow nose’ or ‘winter nose.’ Who knew? Though it seems to be something that is more common to dogs like Labrador Retriever, Golden, Bernese, or Husky (Sofie being none of those that we know – well maybe Golden?), the seasonal variation is no cause for alarm and usually goes back to black in the warmer months. Which it did for many summers, but no longer does.
2. Age is another reason. There is an enzyme called Tyrosinase which produces pigment. As a dog ages, the nasal plenum (that is a cool word, don’t you think?) might change from black to brown or pink, as less of the enzyme is produced. Interestingly enough, Tyrosinase is also sensitive to temperature. This may be why the fading of the ‘plenum’ in warmer months happens too.
3. Dermatitis, especially from plastic bowls, has been found to temporarily cause this. Or a real trauma, like an abrasion. If allergies are the cause the dog’s gums will possibly be red or inflamed too.
4. There is an immune disease that can cause a pink nose, called Vitiligo. (That is the disease that Michael Jackson said he had that turned his skin from black to white. I wonder if Sofie can sing?) But if a dog has this, there would be white patches usually throughout its body and white hairs. This seems to be found in Doberman, German Shepard, Rottweiler, and Dachshund mostly. It appears to be a rare problem, but I was happy to know that it can be managed by nutritional supplements (if you’re worried about the color of your dog’s nose). Show dogs can be disqualified if their pigment is not exactly right – so this might help in those cases.
Any changes in our little furry charges are always a cause of concern. Sofie’s nose did go back to black for many summers but now stays pink in the center year-round.
What color is your nose?
What kind of mischief did you get into today?
The incredible heat wave that is blanketing the United States continues. It is impossible to be outside for very long. Louise doesn’t care how hot it is, she still wants to go for her twice daily walks.
Here are my tips for taking your dog out in extreme heat:
Walk early or late. Before the heat builds up.
Know your dog, especially if they have those cute smushy flat faces, like pugs. Breathing can be hard on them in the heat. Heavy set dogs like Sofie with her massive coat of fur, should be outside for only short periods (20 minutes maximum).
Dogs don’t sweat. Make sure to keep them hydrated. Check their gums and skin for signs of dehydration.
Dogs cool from their paws and belly. Don’t waste water on the top of them.
Jump from one shady spot to the next trying to avoid as much sunny street as possible. If you can’t go from shade to shade then try to walk on dirt or grass or at least move quickly.
The dog understands that it is hot and will be fine with a shorter than normal stroll. (Or so I try to convince Louise.)
Do regular paw checks. Hot paws are bad. Cool paws are good. Water down the paws immediately if hot. Touch your dogs paws at home to get a sense of what they feel like temperature wise when normal.
We tend to take sit breaks in the shade, on the grass or dirt if we can. Sofie likes to dig down to the cool stuff. As long as it is not in someone’s yard, I let her dig away.
Room temperature water is much better to bring than ICE. On a hot day, ice is toooo cold and could have a negative effect. Use your water bottle to cool paws and drink.
Stay close to home. This way if you see the furry struggling, you can get home lickety split (aka – fast).
Sofie wants to plant herself next to the sunflowers and not move. Sounds like a plan to me!
What COOL mischief did you get into today?
This is a blog hop. I hopped it from MYBrownNewfies. Check them out for more mischief.